The left has fully embraced the strategy of using the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to seize more government power. This effort extends all the way down to school children, on whom the left is trying to force mask mandates.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has fought government overreach at every step throughout the pandemic response, and the latest move from the Florida Department of Education continued that trend.
“The Florida Department of Education approved an emergency rule Friday to hand out private school vouchers to any parent wanting to take their children out of public schools that have enforced mask mandates,” the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported.
According to WSVN-TV, parents will be allowed to apply for the vouchers if they deem the COVID restrictions at a particular public school “pose a health or educational danger to their child.” The Florida Department of Education unanimously approved the emergency measure.
“If a parent wants their child to wear a mask ay school, they should have that right,” Florida State Board of Education vice chair Ben Gibson said.
“If a parent doesn’t want a child to wear a mask at school, it’s cool, they should have that right.”
This would seem to be simple logic: Parents should have the right to decide whether their children need to wear masks that may or may not be effective in stopping the spread of the virus.
Sadly, the left is seemingly unable to grasp this simple concept. On Thursday, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona responded to a question about governors banning school mask mandates by implying they are harming children.
“Don’t be the reason why schools are interrupted,” Cardona said. “Our kids have suffered enough. Let’s do what we know works … politics doesn’t have a role in this.”
Asked by @sramosABC about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banning mask mandates, Education Sec. Miguel Cardona tells the GOP leaders: “Don’t be the reason why schools are interrupted.” https://t.co/D2I9f5DTQX pic.twitter.com/2i6l3m8tZ0
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 5, 2021
There are multiple problems with Cardona’s statements. First, the implication that banning mask mandates in schools is somehow furthering the suffering of children ignores the fact that forcing children to wear masks can be detrimental to their health.
In June 2020, a team of Italian researchers found that the elastic straps from face masks can cause permanent damage to children’s ears, according to a study available on the National Center for Biotechnology Information site.
“[T]he use of surgical masks with ear loops in growing children for many hours a day not only leads to intolerance and decubitus of the retroauricular skin (as for adults), but can also influence the correct growth and angulation of the outer ear with the consequent increase in the incidence of protrusion of the outer auricle,” the study concluded.
In addition, City Journal reported extended mask-wearing can hamper children from developing necessary linguistic skills, particularly in children on the autism spectrum.
Second, Cardona’s attempt to paint mask mandates as a non-political issue is completely dishonest. The effort from the government to override parents and force children to wear face coverings is inherently political because it is a gross infringement on constitutional freedoms.
The only way to stop the government from succeeding in its latest power-grab is to reallocate the power back to the people, and that’s exactly what DeSantis and the Florida state government are doing.
Last week, DeSantis banned school districts from instituting mask mandates, the DailyMail reported. This new emergency measure is a necessary next step to ensure districts that ignore that order realize who they are really hurting.
By encouraging parents to pull their children out of schools with draconian restrictions, Florida has allowed these parents to send the message that they will not be bullied by school districts or teachers unions.
In a time when many people have simply chosen to comply with government overreach, this emergency measure is exactly the kind of action Americans need to embrace.
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